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Iran Press TV

Two Ukraine troops killed, 6 injured in Donbass clashes

Iran Press TV

Sun Jun 21, 2015 2:2PM

Two Ukrainian government soldiers have been killed and six others injured in fighting with pro-Russia forces in the country's restive eastern region of Donbass, a presidential aide says.

'Two Ukrainian warriors were killewd in provocations and fire attacks in the past 24 hours and six were wounded,' Interfax news agency quoted Ukraine's presidential spokesman, Andriy Lysenko, as saying on Sunday.

The latest deadly firefight in Ukraine comes against the backdrop of intensification of fighting in the east of the country despite a ceasefire agreement signed in February by the warring parties in the Belarusian capital city of Minsk.

The Ukrainian government and pro-Russia forces have been regularly accusing each other of violating the terms of the truce.

On Saturday, Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko accused Russia of shipping weaponry to the Donbass region in a bid to test their battlefield performance.

The allegation was made during a Saturday meeting in Kiev with a visiting US Congressional delegation led by hawkish Republican Senator John McCain, during which Poroshenko accused Moscow and pro-Russia fighters of "escalating the hostilities and failing to comply with the Minsk [truce] agreement."

'However, we are fighting with 20th century weapons against 21st century weapons, as Russia is shipping modern weapons to Donbass, using Ukraine as a test range for testing its advanced systems,' Poroshenko said.

The Kremlin has repeatedly insisted that it does not provide military assistance to the pro-Russia forces in eastern Ukraine.

The Ukrainian conflict broke out in March 2014 following a referendum in the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, in which people voted overwhelmingly for reunification with Russia.

The situation, however, degenerated into a major armed conflict after Kiev dispatched troops to the eastern Ukrainian regions of Lugansk and Donetsk in April 2014 in an attempt to suppress pro-Russia forces there.

The persisting conflict has so far claimed the lives of at least 6,500 people and displaced nearly 1.5 million citizens, according the United Nations figures.

MFB/KA/SS



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